Fossil Ants

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online

Fossil ants include both specimens fossilised in shale or other stone (compression fossils) and ants embedded in Amber. Copal is a general term that refers to non-fossilised resin material whatever its geological age. Copal older than Holocene is referred to as fossil copal.

The geologic age of the deposits are important in understanding the evolution of ants as well as their extinction and the distribution of ants worldwide. In some cases the surrounding vegetation and insects that are preserved along with the ants allows a partial reconstruction of the habitat and in some cases the microhabitat as well.

Winged and worker ants were much larger in times past so that some ant specimens are still identifiable as ants when found in stone. Specimens preserved in amber are in much better condition allowing for a more reliable identification.

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Amber - Fossil Resins

A few plant resins have the ability to fossilize and insects trapped and embeded in this matrix are known as amber fossils. Resin that is older than one million years are designated as amber and younger aged resins are known as copal.

Amber is often designated by the type of plant exudate or given a mineral name. Ant fossils are most often named for its geographical origin; Dominican amber, Mexican amber, Baltic amber, Saxonian amber, Rovno amber, Spanish amber, Lebanese amber, etc.

Copal

Subfossil resins or Copal can be Carbon-14 dated so that the resin sold as "amber" in Madagascar by gem dealers is approximately 50 years old. The Copal from Colombia has been dated as 250 years old.

Ichnofossils

Trace fossils of ant nests. The evidence for these fossils representing preserved ant nest structures are based on interpretation of various elements of the ichnofossils that are analogous to modern day ant nests.

Fossil Taxa

Geologic Time Zones Containing Ants

  • Pliocene - About 5.333 to 3.6 million years ago.
  • Miocene - About 23.03 to 5.332 million years ago.
  • Oligocene - About 34 million to 23 million years before the present.
  • Eocene - Lasted approximately from 56 to 34 million years ago.
  • Paleocene - Lasted from about 65.5 to 56 million years ago.
  • Cretaceous - From circa 145.5 to 65.5 million years ago.

Taxa by Geologic Time Zones

Era Period Epoch Age Start, million years age Formations Taxa
Cenozoic Quaternary Holocene Meghalayan 0.0042
Northgrippian 0.0082
Greenlandian 0.0117
Pleistocene Late ('Tarantian') 0.126
Chibanian 0.781
Calabrian 1.8
Gelasian 2.58
Neogene Pliocene Piacenzian 3.6 No formations known No taxa known
Zanclean 5.333 Lac Chambon, France Fossil Formica pitoni • Lasius chambonensis
Miocene Messinian 7.246 Brunn-Vösendorf, Austria Fossil • Varvara Formation Fossil Camponotus ullrichi • Paraphaenogaster pannonica • Polyrhachis annosa
Tortonian 11.63 Auxillac, France Fossil • Epecuen Formation Fossil • Joursac, France Fossil • Montagne d'Andance, France Fossil • Schossnitz, Poland Fossil • Sicilian Amber Attaichnus kuenzelii • Camponotus crozei • Camponotus obesus • Carebara schossnicensis • Carebara sophiae • Cataulacus planiceps • Cataulacus silvestrii • Crematogaster praecursor • Ectatomma gracile • Formica auxillacensis • Formica cantalica • Formica maculipennis • Hypopomyrmex bombiccii • Lasius crispus • Lasius oblongus • Leptomyrmula maravignae • Lonchomyrmex nigritus • Oecophylla grandimandibula • Oecophylla sicula • Plagiolepis labilis • Podomyrma mayri • Ponera leptocephala • Sicelomyrmex corniger • Tapinoma minutissimum • Technomyrmex deletus
Serravallian 13.82 Berezovsky Massif Fossil • Khronya Cape Fossil • Oeningen, Switzerland Fossil • Ormety, Georgia Fossil • Parschlug, Austria Fossil Camponotus heracleus • Camponotus induratus • Camponotus lignitus • Carebara rugiceps • Formica demersa • Formica globiventris • Formica gravida • Formica immersa • Formica lavateri • Formica longicollis • Formica macrophthalma • Formica martynovi • Formica orbata • Formica primitiva • Formica primordialis • Formica procera • Formica pulchella • Formica seuberti • Imhoffia nigra • Imhoffia pallida • Lasius occultatus • Lasius tertiarius • Liometopum crassinervis • Liometopum escheri • Liometopum globosum • Liometopum longaevum • Liometopum stygium • Liometopum venerarium • Liometopum ventrosum • Myrmica angusticollis • Myrmica minor • Myrmica molassica • Myrmica obsoleta • Paraphaenogaster aemula • Paraphaenogaster macrocephala • Solenopsis atavina
Langhian 15.97 Chon-Tyz Mine Fossil • Iki Island, Japan Fossil • Kuban Province Fossil • Malyi Kamyshlak Fossil • Peruvian Amber • Shanwang, China Fossil • Vishnevaya Balka Creek Fossil • Zhangpu Amber Alloiomma changweiensis • Alloiomma differentialis • Camponotites xiejiaheensis • Camponotus ambon • Camponotus ampullosus • Camponotus curviansatus • Camponotus gracilis • Camponotus longus • Camponotus microthoracus • Camponotus pictus • Camponotus plenus • Camponotus shanwangensis • Casaleia inversa • Dolichoderus evolans • Dolichoderus jiaoyanshanensis • Dolichoderus lacinius • Dolichoderus luridivenosus • Dolichoderus tavridus • Dolichoderus transversipetiolaris • Elaphrodites mutatus • Elaphrodites scutulatus • Eurymyrmex geologicus • Formica ceps • Formica flavifemoralis • Formica linquensis • Formica ovala • Iridomyrmex shandongicus • Kotshkorkia laticeps • Lasius inflatus • Lasius mordicus • Lasius truncatus • Lasius validus • Lasius vetulus • Leptogenys lacerata • Liometopum eremicum • Liometopum lubricum • Liometopum potamophilum • Miosolenopsis fossilis • Myopopone sinensis • Odontoponera pseudotransversa • Oecophylla macroptera • Oecophylla taurica • Pachycondyla minutansata • Pachycondyla nubeculata • Paraphaenogaster avita • Paraphaenogaster dumetorum • Paraphaenogaster lapidescens • Paraphaenogaster microphthalma • Paraphaenogaster paludosa • Paraphaenogaster shanwangensis • Ponerites taurica • Ponerites umbra • Rhytidoponera kirghizorum • Shanwangella palaeoptera • Taphopone karaganensis • Taphopone stauropolitana • Tapinoma baculum • Tapinoma neli • Technomyrmex septentrionalis • Zhangidris atopogaster
Burdigalian 20.44 Barstow Formation Fossil • Borneo Amber • Chon-Tyz Mine Fossil • Iki Island, Japan Fossil • Kuban Province Fossil • Lake Victoria, Kenya Fossil • Malyi Kamyshlak Fossil • Mokrina, Czech Republic Fossil • Most Formation Fossil • Radoboj Fossil • Shanwang, China Fossil • Vishnevaya Balka Creek Fossil Alloiomma changweiensis • Alloiomma differentialis • Attopsis longipennis • Camponotites xiejiaheensis • Camponotus ambon • Camponotus ampullosus • Camponotus curviansatus • Camponotus gracilis • Camponotus heracleus • Camponotus induratus • Camponotus juliae Pierce & Gibron, 1962 • Camponotus lignitus • Camponotus longus • Camponotus microthoracus • Camponotus pictus • Camponotus plenus • Camponotus shanwangensis • Casaleia inversa • Casaleia longiventris • Cataulacus plebeius • Dolichoderus evolans • Dolichoderus heeri • Dolichoderus jiaoyanshanensis • Dolichoderus lacinius • Dolichoderus luridivenosus • Dolichoderus tavridus • Dolichoderus transversipetiolaris • Elaphrodites mutatus • Elaphrodites scutulatus • Emplastus antiquus • Emplastus dubius • Emplastus haueri • Emplastus miocenicus • Emplastus ocellus • Eurymyrmex geologicus • Formica aemula • Formica buphthalma • Formica ceps • Formica flavifemoralis • Formica fragilis • Formica globiventris • Formica kollari • Formica lavateri major • Formica linquensis • Formica oblita • Formica obscura • Formica obtecta • Formica obvoluta • Formica oculata • Formica ovala • Formica parexsecta • Formica ungeri • Gesomyrmex bremii • Heeridris croatica • Imhoffia pallida • Iridomyrmex shandongicus • Kotshkorkia laticeps • Lasius anthracinus • Lasius globularis • Lasius inflatus • Lasius longaevus • Lasius longipennis • Lasius mordicus • Lasius occultatus • Lasius ophthalmicus • Lasius truncatus • Lasius validus • Lasius vetulus • Leptogenys lacerata • Liometopum brunascens • Liometopum croaticum • Liometopum eremicum • Liometopum imhoffii • Liometopum lubricum • Liometopum pallidum • Liometopum potamophilum • Lonchomyrmex freyeri • Miosolenopsis fossilis • Myopopone sinensis • Myrmecites latus • Myrmecites pusillus • Myrmica nebulosa • Myrmica venusta • Odontomachus paleomyagra • Oecophylla leakeyi • Oecophylla macroptera • Oecophylla obesa • Oecophylla taurica • Pachycondyla minutansata • Pachycondyla nubeculata • Paraphaenogaster avita • Paraphaenogaster bohemica • Paraphaenogaster dumetorum • Paraphaenogaster jurinei • Paraphaenogaster lapidescens • Paraphaenogaster microphthalma • Paraphaenogaster paludosa • Paraphaenogaster shanwangensis • Paraphaenogaster tertiaria • Ponerites atavinus • Ponerites elongatus • Ponerites gracilior • Ponerites nitidus • Ponerites oblongiceps • Ponerites taurica • Ponerites tenuis • Ponerites umbra • Rhytidoponera kirghizorum • Shanwangella palaeoptera • Taphopone karaganensis • Taphopone stauropolitana • Tapinoma baculum • Technomyrmex septentrionalis • Zhangidris atopogaster
Aquitanian 23.03 Decín, Czech Republic Fossil • Ethiopian Amber • Mae Sot, Thailand Fossil • Mexican Amber Aphaenogaster praerelicta • Camponotus novotnyi • Cephalotes maya • Cephalotes olmecus • Cephalotes poinari • Cephalotes ventriosus • Cyphomyrmex maya • Desyopone hereon • Discothyrea maya • Forelius chenpauch • Melissotarsus ethiopiensis • Pheidole chaan • Pheidole pauchil • Proceratium poinari • Ravavy goldmani • Schismiscapus exstinctum • Technomyrmex svojtkai
Paleogene Oligocene Chattian 28.1 Bitterfeld Amber • Dominican Amber • Enspel Formation Fossil • Foulden Maar Diatomite Fossil • Rott, Germany Fossil • Sumatran Amber • Velikaya Kema Fossil Acanthognathus poinari • Acanthostichus hispaniolicus • Acropyga glaesaria • Agroecomyrmex duisburgi • Anochetus ambiguus • Anochetus brevidentatus • Anochetus conisquamis • Anochetus corayi • Anochetus dubius • Anochetus exstinctus • Anochetus intermedius • Anochetus lucidus • Anochetus miosumatrensis • Aphaenogaster amphioceanica • Aphaenogaster archaica • Aphaenogaster enspelensis • Aphaenogaster oligocenica • Aphaenogaster sommerfeldti • Apterostigma electropilosum • Apterostigma eowilsoni • Austroponera schneideri • Azteca alpha • Azteca eumeces • Bradoponera meieri • Bradoponera similis • Camponotus mengei • Camponotus parvus • Carebara antiqua • Carebara kutscheri • Cephalotes alveolatus • Cephalotes bloosi • Cephalotes brevispineus • Cephalotes caribicus • Cephalotes dieteri • Cephalotes hispaniolicus • Cephalotes integerrimus • Cephalotes jansei • Cephalotes obscurus • Cephalotes serratus • Cephalotes squamosus • Cephalotes sucinus • Conoformica bitterfeldiana • Ctenobethylus goepperti • Cylindromyrmex antillanus • Cylindromyrmex electrinus • Cylindromyrmex inopinatus • Cyphomyrmex taino • Discothyrea gigas • Dolichoderus balticus • Dolichoderus brevipennis • Dolichoderus caribbaeus • Dolichoderus cornutus • Dolichoderus dibolius • Dolichoderus intermedius • Dolichoderus kutscheri • Dolichoderus mesosternalis • Dolichoderus passalomma • Dolichoderus primitivus • Dolichoderus prolaminatus • Dolichoderus sculpturatus • Dolichoderus tertiarius • Eldermyrmex exsectus • Electromyrmex wheeleri • Emplastus obliquus • Emplastus similis • Eocenomyrma rugosostriata • Fallomyrma transversa • Formica bauckhorni • Formica flori • Formica gustawi • Formica kutscheri • Formica phaethusa • Gesomyrmex hoernesi • Gnamptogenys casca • Gnamptogenys europaea • Gnamptogenys levinates • Gnamptogenys pristina • Goniomma poschmanni • Gracilidris humiloides • Hypoponera atavia • Ilemomyrmex caecus • Lasius schiefferdeckeri • Lasius vulgaris • Leptomyrmex neotropicus • Liometopum rhenanum • Metalasius pumilus • Monomorium mayrianum • Monomorium pilipes • Mycetomoellerius primaevus • Myrmecorhynchus novaeseelandiae • Myrmica nungesseri • Myrmica paradoxa • Myrmica saxonica • Myrmica schaefersi • Neivamyrmex ectopus • Neoponera vejestoria • Nesomyrmex caritatis • Nesomyrmex dominicanus • Nylanderia pygmaea • Nylanderia vetula • Odontomachus pseudobauri • Odontomachus spinifer • Oecophylla brischkei • Oecophylla crassinoda • Oxyidris antillana • Pachycondyla succinea • Pachycondyla tristis • Paraneuretus longicornis • Paraneuretus tornquisti • Paraphaenogaster bizeri • Paraphaenogaster freihauti • Paraphaenogaster loosi • Paraphaenogaster schindleri • Paraphaenogaster ussuriensis • Paraphaenogaster wettlauferi • Paraphaenogaster wuttkei • Paraponera dieteri • Pheidole anticua • Pheidole primigenia • Pheidole tethepa • Plagiolepis klinsmanni • Plagiolepis kuenowi • Plagiolepis paradoxa • Plagiolepis solitaria • Plagiolepis squamifera • Platythyrea dentata • Platythyrea procera • Platythyrea pumilio • Platythyrea scalpra • Plesiomyrmex tubulatus • Ponera elegantissima • Ponera wheeleri • Poneracantha brunoi • Prenolepis henschei • Prionomyrmex longiceps • Prionomyrmex wappleri • Pristomyrmex archaios • Procerapachys annosus • Proceratium denticulatum • Proceratium dominicanum • Proceratium gibberum • Proceratium poinari • Protaneuretus mirabilis • Pseudomyrmex antiquus • Pseudomyrmex avitus • Pseudomyrmex baros • Pseudomyrmex coruscus • Pseudomyrmex macrops • Pseudomyrmex nexilis • Pseudomyrmex oryctus • Pseudomyrmex prioris • Pseudomyrmex succinus • Pseudomyrmex thecolor • Pseudomyrmex vicinus • Rhytidoponera gibsoni • Rhytidoponera waipiata • Stigmomyrmex rugulosus • Stigmomyrmex venustus • Strumigenys electrina • Strumigenys pilosula • Strumigenys poinari • Strumigenys schleeorum • Sussudio boreus • Tapinoma electrinum • Tapinoma troche • Technomyrmex caritatis • Technomyrmex hispaniolae • Technomyrmex kemaensis • Temnothorax gracilis • Temnothorax longaevus • Temnothorax praecreolus • Tetraponera europaea • Tetraponera lacrimarum • Tetraponera ocellata • Tetraponera simplex • Unnamed Enspel Formation Fossil Ants • Yantaromyrmex constrictus • Yantaromyrmex geinitzi • Yantaromyrmex intermedius • Yantaromyrmex samlandicus • Zatania electra
Rupelian 33.9 Aix-en-Provence, France Fossil • Amgu River Fossil • Canyon Ferry Reservoir • Quesnel, British Columbia Fossil Aphaenogaster longaeva • Calyptites antediluvianum • Camponotus longiventris • Camponotus penninervis • Camponotus theobaldi • Carebara thorali • Dolichoderus coquandi • Dolichoderus obliteratus • Emplastus amguensis • Formica arcana • Formica latinodosa • Formica sepulta • Formica serresi • Lasius epicentrus • Liometopum greenwalti • Manica iviei • Pachycondyla globiventris • Paraphaenogaster maculata
Eocene Priabonian 37.8 Bembridge Marls Fossil • Bolshaya Svetlovodnaya Fossil • Brunstatt, France Fossil • Celas, France Fossil • Florissant Fossil • Fonseca Formation Fossil • Kleinkems, Germany Fossil • Rovno Amber • Wellborn, Texas Fossil Agastomyrma laticeps • Aphaenogaster antiqua • Aphaenogaster mersa • Asymphylomyrmex balticus • Biamomyrma lata • Biamomyrma rugosa • Biamomyrma zherikhini • Bilobomyrma ukrainica • Boltonidris mirabilis • Bradoponera meieri • Britaneuretus anglicus • Camponotus cockerelli • Camponotus compactus • Camponotus mengei • Camponotus vehemens • Carebara antiqua • Carebara nitida • Carebara ucrainica • Casaleia orientalis • Cataglyphoides constrictus • Cataglyphoides dlusskyi • Colobopsis brodiei • Crematogaster primitiva • Ctenobethylus goepperti • Damzenomyrmex ribbeckei • Dolichoderus affectus • Dolichoderus balticus • Dolichoderus bruneti • Dolichoderus explicans • Dolichoderus jonasi • Dolichoderus lucidus • Dolichoderus oviformis • Dolichoderus passalomma • Dolichoderus perkovskyi • Dolichoderus pilipes • Dolichoderus pinguis • Dolichoderus polessus • Dolichoderus robustus • Dolichoderus tertiarius • Dolichoderus vectensis • Dolichoderus vlaskini • Dolichoderus zherichini • Drymomyrmex rasnitsyni • Emplastus biamoensis • Emplastus britannicus • Emplastus elongatus • Emplastus gurnetensis • Emplastus hypolithus • Emplastus kozlovi • Emplastus macrops • Enneamerus reticulatus • Eocenomyrma breviscapa • Eocenomyrma orthospina • Eocenomyrma rugosostriata • Eocenomyrma ukrainica • Eoformica expectans • Fallomyrma anodonta • Fallomyrma marginata • Fallomyrma robusta • Fallomyrma transversa • Fonsecahymen stigmata • Formica alsatica • Formica biamoensis • Formica eoptera • Formica flori • Formica gustawi • Formica palaeopolonica • Formica paleosibirica • Formica phaethusa • Formica radchenkoi • Formica ribbeckei • Formica tripartita • Gesomyrmex hoernesi • Gesomyrmex incertus • Gesomyrmex macrops • Gesomyrmex magnus • Glaphyromyrmex oligocenicus • Gnamptogenys europaea • Hypoponera atavia • Iridomyrmex breviantennis • Lasius schiefferdeckeri • Lelejus venustus • Leucotaphus donisthorpei • Leucotaphus gurnetensis • Leucotaphus permancus • Liometopum incognitum • Monomorium kugleri • Monomorium mayrianum • Monomorium pilipes • Myrmecites dubius • Myrmecites major • Myrmecites sibiricus • Myrmica electrina • Myrmica intermedia • Myrmica rudis • Nylanderia pygmaea • Oecophylla atavina • Oecophylla megarche • Oecophylla praeclara • Oecophylla superba • Pachycondyla aberrans • Pachycondyla calcarea • Pachycondyla conservata • Pachycondyla dubia • Pachycondyla globiventris • Pachycondyla oligocenica • Pachycondyla succinea • Paraneuretus dubovikoffi • Paraneuretus tornquisti • Paraphaenogaster hooleyana • Paraphaenogaster maculipes • Plagiolepis klinsmanni • Plagiolepis kuenowi • Plagiolepis minutissima • Plagiolepis solitaria • Plagiolepis squamifera • Ponera lobulifera • Ponera mayri • Ponerites antropovi • Ponerites crawleyi • Ponerites hooleyi • Prenolepis henschei • Prionomyrmex longiceps • Pristomyrmex elmesi • Proceratium eocenicum • Proceratium petrosum • Proleptothorax primitivus • Protaneuretus succineus • Solenopsis alena • Solenopsis blanda • Solenopsis foersteri • Solenopsis maxima • Solenopsis moesta • Solenopsis privata • Solenopsis superba • Solenopsis valida • Solenopsites rossi • Sussudio boreus • Syntaphus wheeleri • Taphopone aberrans • Taphopone macroptera • Taphopone microptera • Taphopone petrosa • Tapinoma electrinum • Tapinoma glaesaria • Temnothorax gracilis • Temnothorax longaevus • Tetraponera europaea • Tetraponera ocellata • Tetraponera oligocenica • Tetraponera simplex • Vollenhovia kipyatkovi • Yantaromyrmex constrictus • Yantaromyrmex geinitzi • Yantaromyrmex mayrianum • Yantaromyrmex samlandicus • Ypresiomyrma orientalis
Bartonian 41.2 Danish Amber • Kuclín, Czech Republic Fossil Dolichoderus kutschlinicus
Lutetian 47.8 Baltic Amber • Belarus Amber • Bournemouth Fossil • Elko, Nevada Fossil • Sakhalin Amber Agroecomyrmex duisburgi • Aneuretellus deformis • Aphaenogaster dlusskyana • Aphaenogaster mersa • Aphaenogaster oligocenica • Aphaenogaster sommerfeldti • Asymphylomyrmex balticus • Bilobomyrma baltica • Bradoponera electrina • Bradoponera meieri • Bradoponera wunderlichi • Camponotus mengei • Carebara antiqua • Carebara groehni • Cataglyphoides constrictus • Cataglyphoides intermedius • Chimaeromyrma brachycephala • Ctenobethylus goepperti • Dissimulodorylus perseus • Dlusskyus groehni • Dolichoderus balticus • Dolichoderus brevicornis • Dolichoderus brevipalpis • Dolichoderus cornutus • Dolichoderus elegans • Dolichoderus granulinotus • Dolichoderus jonasi • Dolichoderus longipennis • Dolichoderus longipilosus • Dolichoderus mesosternalis • Dolichoderus nanus • Dolichoderus passalomma • Dolichoderus polessus • Dolichoderus polonicus • Dolichoderus punctatus • Dolichoderus robustus • Dolichoderus sculpturatus • Dolichoderus tertiarius • Dolichoderus vexillarius • Drymomyrmex claripennis • Drymomyrmex fuscipennis • Eldermyrmex oblongiceps • Electromyrmex klebsi • Electromyrmex wheeleri • Electroponera dubia • Enneamerus costatus • Enneamerus reticulatus • Eocenomyrma elegantula • Eocenomyrma groehni • Eocenomyrma orthospina • Eocenomyrma rugosostriata • Eotapinoma compacta • Eotapinoma gracilis • Formica flori • Formica gibbosa • Formica gustawi • Formica heteroptera • Formica horrida • Formica lucida • Formica luteola • Formica macrognatha • Formica nigra • Formica palaeopolonica • Formica parvula • Formica phaethusa • Formica quadrata • Formica strangulata • Formica surinamensis • Formica trigona • Formica zherikhini • Formicium mirabile • Gesomyrmex hoernesi • Glaphyromyrmex oligocenicus • Gnamptogenys europaea • Gnamptogenys rohdendorfi • Hypoponera atavia • Lasius nemorivagus • Lasius punctulatus • Lasius schiefferdeckeri • Liometopum oligocenicum • Manica andrannae • Metalasius pumilus • Monomorium mayrianum • Monomorium pilipes • Myrmica damzeni • Myrmica dictyosa • Myrmica electrina • Myrmica eocenica • Myrmica intermedia • Myrmica longispinosa • Myrmica rudis • Nylanderia pygmaea • Oecophylla bartoniana • Oecophylla brischkei • Oecophylla crassinoda • Pachycondyla baltica • Pachycondyla gracilicornis • Pachycondyla succinea • Parameranoplus primaevus • Paraneuretus longicornis • Paraneuretus tornquisti • Pheidole cordata • Pityomyrmex tornquisti • Plagiolepis klinsmanni • Plagiolepis kuenowi • Plagiolepis singularis • Plagiolepis solitaria • Plagiolepis squamifera • Plagiolepis succini • Plagiolepis wheeleri • Platythyrea primaeva • Ponera lobulifera • Ponera mayri • Prenolepis henschei • Prionomyrmex gusakovi • Prionomyrmex janzeni • Prionomyrmex longiceps • Procerapachys annosus • Procerapachys favosus • Procerapachys sulcatus • Proceratium eocenicum • Prodimorphomyrmex primigenius • Protaneuretus succineus • Protoformica proformicoides • Protomyrmica atavia • Protopone primigena • Pseudocamponotus elkoanus • Stenamma berendti • Stigmatomma electrinum • Stigmatomma groehni • Stigmomyrmex rugulosus • Stigmomyrmex venustus • Stiphromyrmex robustus • Sussudio boreus • Tapinoma electrinum • Temnothorax glaesarius • Temnothorax gracilis • Temnothorax hystriculus • Temnothorax longaevus • Temnothorax petiolatus • Temnothorax placivus • Tetramorium kulickae • Tetramorium paraarmatum • Tetraponera groehni • Tetraponera klebsi • Tetraponera lacrimarum • Tetraponera ocellata • Tetraponera simplex • Thanacomyrmex hoffeinsorum • Vollenhovia beyrichi • Vollenhovia prisca • Yantaromyrmex constrictus • Yantaromyrmex geinitzi • Yantaromyrmex mayrianum • Yantaromyrmex samlandicus • Zherichinius horribilis • Zherichinius rapax
Ypresian 56 Arkansas Amber • Eckfeld, Germany Fossil • Fushun Amber • Green River Formation Fossil • Horsefly River, British Columbia Fossil • Isle of Purbeck Fossil • Kishenehn Formation Shale Fossil • Klondike Formation Fossil • McAbee Fossil • Messel Fossil • Mo-Clay Fossil • Oise Amber • Puryear, Tennessee Fossil • Sweetwater, Wyoming Fossil • Ventana Formation Fossil Archimyrmex piatnitzkyi • Archimyrmex rostratus • Archimyrmex smekali • Archimyrmex wedmannae • Avitomyrmex elongatus • Avitomyrmex mastax • Avitomyrmex systenus • Brachytarsites dongzhouheensis • Camponotus tokunagai • Camponotus vetus • Casaleia eocenica • Cephalopone grandis • Cephalopone potens • Clavipetiola asiatica • Crematogaster aurora • Curticorna leptogastrosa • Curtipalpulus eocenicus • Cyrtopone curiosa • Cyrtopone elongata • Cyrtopone microcephala • Cyrtopone striata • Dolichoderus dlusskyi • Dolichoderus kohlsi • Eoaenictites castanifurvus • Eocenidris crassa • Eoformica brevipetiola • Eoformica globularis • Eoformica latimedia • Eoformica magna • Eoformica pinguis • Eogorgites cingulatus • Eoleptocerites chinensis • Eoleptocerites fushunensis • Eomyrmex guchengziensis • Eoponerites longipetiolatus • Eurytarsites fushunensis • Formica annosa • Formicium berryi • Formicium brodiei • Furcisutura wanghuacunensis • Fushuniformica spinata • Fushunomyrmex liaoningensis • Gesomyrmex breviceps • Gesomyrmex curiosus • Gesomyrmex flavescens • Gesomyrmex gallicus • Gesomyrmex germanicus • Gesomyrmex miegi • Gesomyrmex pulcher • Huaxiaformica mallepetiolata • Iridomyrmex mapesi • Klondikia whiteae • Kohlsimyrma gracilis • Kohlsimyrma laticeps • Kohlsimyrma longiceps • Ktunaxia jucunda • Lasius glom • Leptogasteritus capricornutes • Liaoformica longipetiolata • Longicapitia reticulata • Longiformica dongzhouheensis • Longiformica guchengziensis • Macabeemyrma ovata • Magnogasterites curticornutus • Messelepone leptogenoides • Mianeuretus eocenicus • Myrmeciites goliath • Myrmeciites herculeanus • Myrmeciites tabanifluviensis • Myrmecites rotundiceps • Oecophylla kraussei • Oecophylla longiceps • Orbicapitia reticulata • Orbigastrula guchengziensis • Ovalicapito fushunensis • Ovaligastrula xilutianensis • Pachycondyla eocenica • Pachycondyla labandeirai • Pachycondyla lutzi • Pachycondyla messeliana • Pachycondyla parvula • Pachycondyla petiolosa • Pachycondyla petrosa • Platythyrea dlusskyi • Ponerites coloradensis • Ponerites eocenicus • Ponerites hypoponeroides • Ponerites kishenehne • Proiridomyrmex rotundatus • Proiridomyrmex vetulus • Propalosoma gutierrezae • Protazteca eocenica • Protopone dubia • Protopone germanica • Protopone magna • Protopone oculata • Protopone sepulta • Protopone vetula • Protrechina carpenteri • Pseudectatomma eocenica • Pseudectatomma striatula • Pseudomyrmex saxulum • Quadrulicapito longa • Quineangulicapito fushunensis • Sinoformica longicapitata • Sinomyrmex brunneus • Sinomyrmex furvis • Sinotenuicapito badis • Solenopsites abdita • Solenopsites minutus • Sphaerogasterites longipetiolatus • Titanomyrma gigantea • Titanomyrma lubei • Titanomyrma simillima • Wilsonia liaoningensis • Wilsonia megagastrosa • Wumyrmex furvis • Ypresiomyrma bartletti • Ypresiomyrma orbiculata • Ypresiomyrma rebekkae
Paleocene Thanetian 59.2 No formations known No taxa known
Selandian 61.6 Menat Formation Fossil Tyrannomecia inopinata
Danian 66 Paskapoo Formation Fossil Napakimyrma paskapooensis
Mesozoic Cretaceous Late Maastrichtian 72.1 ± 0.2 No formations known No taxa known
Campanian 83.6 ± 0.2 North Carolina Amber Baikuris ocellantis • Brownimecia inconspicua • Sphecomyrma nexa
Santonian 86.3 ± 0.5 Foremost Formation Amber • Ola Formation Fossil • Yantardakh Fossil Archaeopone taylori • Armania curiosa • Armania robusta • Boltonimecia canadensis • Cananeuretus occidentalis • Canapone dentata • Chronomyrmex medicinehatensis • Cretomyrma arnoldii • Cretomyrma unicornis • Dlusskyidris zherichini • Eotapinoma macalpini • Haidoterminus cippus • Poneropterus sphecoides • Pseudarmania aberrans • Pseudarmania rasnitsyni
Coniacian 89.8 ± 0.3 No formations known No taxa known
Turonian 93.9 Orapa Fossil Afromyrma petrosa • Afropone oculata • Afropone orapa • Orapia minor • Orapia rayneri
Cenomanian 100.5 Burmese Amber • Emanra Formation Fossil • Kzyl-Zhar Fossil • Raritan (New Jersey) Amber Aquilomyrmex huangi • Archaeopone kzylzharica • Archaeopone taylori • Armania capitata • Armania pristina • Baikuris casei • Brownimecia clavata • Burmomyrma rossi • Camelomecia janovitzi • Camelosphecia fossor • Camelosphecia venator • Ceratomyrmex ellenbergeri • Ceratomyrmex planus • Chonidris insolita • Dhagnathos autokrator • Dilobops bidentata • Gerontoformica contega • Gerontoformica gracilis • Gerontoformica magna • Gerontoformica orientalis • Gerontoformica pilosa • Gerontoformica robusta • Gerontoformica rugosa • Gerontoformica spiralis • Gerontoformica sternorhabda • Gerontoformica subcuspis • Gerontoformica tendir • Haidomyrmex cerberus • Haidomyrmex davidbowiei • Haidomyrmex scimitarus • Haidomyrmex zigrasi • Kyromyrma neffi • Linguamyrmex brevicornis • Linguamyrmex rhinocerus • Linguamyrmex vladi • Myanmyrma gracilis • Myanmyrma maraudera • Protoceratomyrmex revelatus • Protozigrasimecia chauli • Sphecomyrma freyi • Sphecomyrma mesaki • Zigrasimecia boudinoti • Zigrasimecia caohuijiae • Zigrasimecia chuyangsui • Zigrasimecia ferox • Zigrasimecia goldingot • Zigrasimecia hoelldobleri • Zigrasimecia perrichoti • Zigrasimecia thate • Zigrasimecia tonsora • Zigrasimecia zui
Early Albian ~113 Baikura Fossil • Charentese Amber Baikuris maximus • Gerontoformica cretacica • Gerontoformica occidentalis • Haidomyrmodes mammuthus
Aptian ~125 Crato, Brazil Fossil Cariridris bipetiolata
Barremian ~129.4 No formations known No taxa known
Hauterivian ~132.9 No formations known No taxa known
Valanginian ~139.8 No formations known No taxa known
Berriasian ~145 No formations known No taxa known

Subfamily-level Phylogeny with Fossil Occurrences

  • A dated subfamily-level phylogeny with first confident fossil occurrences for each lineage, last occurrences indicated for extinct lineages. Fossil deposit numbers correspond with Table 2, Figure 4, and Figure 5. Tree topology as well as crown and divergence dates from MOREAU & BELL (2013), which is so far the largest Formicidae-wide analysis with respect to taxon sampling. No crown age included for Aneuretinae, Martialis, and Paraponerinae as these are monotypic. Agroecomyrmecinae includes no crown age due to insufficient terminal sampling. Lineages with dotted lines were not placed directly through analyses, but rather added to the molecule-derived topology of Moreau & Bell, which did not include fossils. Stem ants and Brownimecia were placed according to conservative results of BARDEN & GRIMALDI (2016) – Note that while Sphecomyrminae and stem group ants are depicted on a single lineage, this group is not necessarily monophyletic. Formiciinae placement is based on WARD (2007), although this position was not recovered in the only two phylogenetic treatments of the subfamily (BARONI URBANI & al. 1992, GRIMALDI & al. 1997), it seems plausible to this author (Barden, 2017, Fig. 3).

Fossil Formations Known to Contain Ants

Formation No. of Species Start Age End Age Period Epoch Age Locality Country Coordinates Paleocoordinates Source Notes
Aix-en-Provence, France Fossil 11 28.4 23.0 Paleogene Oligocene Chattian France 43.5°N, 5.5°E
Amgu River Fossil 1 33.9 28.1 Paleogene Oligocene Rupelian Amgu River, Primorye Russia 45.8°N, 137.7°E 47.5°N, 134.7°E
Arkansas Amber 3 48.6 40.4 Paleogene Eocene Lutetian Arkansas United States 34.4°N, 92.8°W
Auxillac, France Fossil 2 7.5 5.3 Neogene Miocene Messinian France 45.1°N, 2.9°E 45.3°N, 2.3°E
Baltic Amber 145 47.8 41.3 Paleogene Eocene Bartonian Baltic Sea region Europe 54.9°N, 19.9°E
Barstow Formation Fossil 1 19.3 13.4 Neogene Miocene Burdigalian to Langhian California United States 34.9° N, 116.8° W 34.1° N, 111.3° W
Belarus Amber 1 47.8 41.3 Paleogene Eocene Belarus 52.1°N, 24.2°E
Bembridge Marls Fossil 23 37.2 33.9 Paleogene Eocene Priabonian Isle of Wight United Kingdom 50.7° N, 1.4° W
Berezovsky Massif Fossil 1 12.7 11.6 Neogene Miocene Serravallian Ukraine 48.3°N, 23.5°E
Bitterfeld Amber 68 25.3 23.8 Paleogene Eocene Bartonian Baltic Sea region Europe 51.6°N, 12.4°E
Bolshaya Svetlovodnaya Fossil 23 37.2 33.9 Paleogene Eocene Priabonian Russia 46.6°N, 138.1°E
Borneo Amber 1 17.0 16.0 Neogene Miocene Borneo 2.7°N, 113.8°E
Bournemouth Fossil 3 47.8 41.3 Paleogene Eocene Bartonian Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom 50.7°N, 2.1°W
Brunn-Vösendorf, Austria Fossil 2 7.2 5.3 Neogene Miocene Brunn-Vösendorf Austria 48.1°N, 16.3°E
Brunstatt, France Fossil 9 37.2 33.9 Paleogene Oligocene Rupelian Brunstatt, Haut-Rhin France 47.7°N, 7.3°E 47.1°N, 3.8°E
Burmese Amber 42 99.7 94.3 Cretaceous Late Cretaceous Early Cenomanian Burmese amber, Kachin State Myanmar 26.4°N, 96.7°E
Canyon Ferry Reservoir 2 32.1 31.9 Tertiary Oligocene Rupelian Canyon Ferry Reservoir, Montana United States 46.6°N, 112.1°W 48.2°N, 103.8°W
Celas, France Fossil 2 37.2 33.9 Paleogene Eocene Priabonian Célas, Gard France 44.1°N, 4.2°E
Charentese Amber 4 105.3 99.7 Cretaceous Early Cretaceous Albian Charentese amber, Aquitaine Basin France 45.9°N, 0.7°W 34.3°N, 2.4°E
Chon-Tyz Mine Fossil 3 16.0 11.6 Neogene Miocene Chon-Tyz mine, Naryn Province Kyrgyzstan 42.2°N, 75.5°E 42.6°N, 75.0°E
Crato, Brazil Fossil 1 122.5 112.6 Cretaceous Early Cretaceous Aptian Crato Brazil 7.1° S, 39.7° W 8.6° S, 8.0° W
Decín, Czech Republic Fossil 1 23.0 16.0 Neogene Miocene Decín Czech Republic 50.8°N, 14.2°E
Dominican Amber 86 26.0 15.0 Neogene Miocene Burdigalian Dominican Republic 19.6°N, 70.8°W
Eckfeld, Germany Fossil 2 49.0 44.0 Paleogene Eocene Lutetian Eckfeld Germany 50.1°N, 6.8°E
Elko, Nevada Fossil 1 46.3 38.6 Neogene Miocene Priabonian Elko, Nevada United States 41.1°N, 115.5°W
Emanra Formation Fossil 2 94.3 89.3 Cretaceous Late Cretaceous Turonian Khetana River, Khabarovsk Russia 59.4° N, 140.3° E 66.7° N, 127.2° E
Enspel Formation Fossil 10 28.0 23.0 Paleogene Oligocene Chattian Rhineland-Palatinate Germany 50.6°N, 7.9°E
Epecuen Formation Fossil 1 9.0 6.8 Neogene Miocene Huayquerian Epecuen Formation, Salinas de Hidalgo, La Pampa Prov. Argentina 36.7°S, 64.3°W
Ethiopian Amber 4 23.0 16.0 Neogene Miocene Priabonian Ethiopia
Fonseca Formation Fossil 1 37.2 23.0 Paleogene Oligocene Fonseca, Minas Gerais State Brazil 20.2°S, 43.3°W
Foremost Formation Amber 6 84.9 70.6 Cretaceous Late Cretaceous Campanian Alberta Canada 49.8° N, 111.7° W
Foulden Maar Diatomite Fossil 4 23.3 19.0 Neogene Miocene Aquitanian New Zealand 45.5°S, 170.2°E
Fushun Amber 36 55.8 48.6 Paleogene Eocene Ypresian Liaoning China 41.8°N, 123.9°E
Green River Formation Fossil 17 53.5 48.5 Paleogene Eocene Lutetian Colorado United States 39.5° N, 108.0° W
Horsefly River, British Columbia Fossil 1 55.0 48.0 Paleogene Eocene Ypresian Horsefly River, British Columbia Canada 52.3° N, 121.3° W 57.0° N, 103.5° W
Iki Island, Japan Fossil 1 16.0 13.7 Neogene Miocene Langhian Chôjaburu, Iki Island Japan 33.8°N, 129.8°E 35.4°N, 127.3°E
Isle of Purbeck Fossil 1 48.0 37.0 Paleogene Eocene Isle of Purbeck (Durlston Bay), Dorset United Kingdom
Joursac, France Fossil 3 11.6 7.2 Neogene Miocene Joursac, Auvergne France 45.1°N, 3.0°E
Khronya Cape Fossil 1 12.7 11.6 Neogene Miocene Sarmatian Khronya Cape, Kerch, Crimea Russia 45.4° N, 36.6° E
Kishenehn Formation Shale Fossil 12 48.4 38.6 Paleogene Eocene Lutetian Montana United States 48.4°N, 113.7°W
Kleinkems, Germany Fossil 16 37.3 33.9 Paleogene Oligocene Priabonian Kleinkems Germany 47.7°N, 7.5°E
Klondike Formation Fossil 3 55.8 48.6 Paleogene Eocene Ypresian Republic, Washington United States 48.7°N, 118.7°W
Kuban Province Fossil 1 16.0 11.6 Neogene Miocene Kuban Province, Caucasus Russia 44.9°N, 40.6°E
Kuclín, Czech Republic Fossil 1 39.1 32.0 Paleogene Eocene Kuclín, near Bílina Czech Republic 50.5°N, 13.8°E
Kzyl-Zhar Fossil 2 94.3 89.3 Cretaceous Late Cretaceous Turonian Kzyl-Zhar Kazakhstan 44.4°N, 67.3°E
Lac Chambon, France Fossil 2 5.3 3.6 Neogene Pliocene Lac Chambon, Auvergne France 45.6°N, 2.9°E
Lake Victoria, Kenya Fossil 1 20.4 16.0 Neogene Miocene Lake Victoria Kenya 0.5°S, 34.0°E
Malyi Kamyshlak Fossil 3 16.0 13.6 Neogene Miocene Malyi Kamyshlak, Kerch, Crimea Russia 45.5° N, 36.5° E 45.7° N, 42.7° E
McAbee Fossil 8 55.8 48.6 Paleogene Eocene Ypresian McAbee, British Columbia Canada 50.8°N, 121.1°W
Menat Formation Fossil 1 61.0 60.0 Paleogene Paleocene Selandian Menat, Puy-de-Dôme France 46.104444°N, 2.905278°E
Messel Fossil 29 48.6 40.4 Paleogene Eocene Lutetian Messel Germany 49.9°N, 8.8°E
Mexican Amber 12 23.0 16.0 Neogene Miocene Chiapas Mexico 16.3°N, 92.4°W
Mo-Clay Fossil 1 55.8 54.1 Paleogene Eocene Ypresian Stolleklint and Manhøj, Isle of Fur Denmark 56.9°N, 8.8°E
Mokrina, Czech Republic Fossil 3 16.9 16.0 Neogene Miocene Burdigalian Mokrina (Krottensee) Czech Republic 50.1°N, 12.5°E
Montagne d'Andance, France Fossil 2 8.7 5.3 Neogene Miocene Turolian Montagne d'Andance, Saint-Bauzile, Ardèche France 44.7°N, 4.7°E
Most Formation Fossil 1 20.0 16.0 Neogene Miocene Burdigalian Czech Republic 50.6°N, 13.7°E
North Carolina Amber 3 83.5 70.6 Cretaceous Late Cretaceous Early Campanian Neuse River, North Carolina United States 35.4°N, 78.0°W 35.6°N, 49.5°W
Oeningen, Switzerland Fossil 28 12.7 11.6 Neogene Miocene Messinian Oeningen Switzerland 47.7°N, 8.9°E
Oise Amber 3 55.0 52.0 Paleogene Eocene Ypresian France 49.3°N, 2.7°E
Ola Formation Fossil 6 84.9 70.6 Cretaceous Late Cretaceous Early/Lower Campanian Tenkinskii Russia 60.2° N, 150.5° E 65.5° N, 133.8° E
Orapa Fossil 5 91.8 89.3 Cretaceous Late Cretaceous Turonian Botswana
Ormety, Georgia Fossil 1 12.7 11.6 Neogene Miocene Serravallian Ormety Georgia 42.0°N, 41.9°E
Parschlug, Austria Fossil 5 13.7 12.7 Neogene Miocene Serravallian Parschlug Austria 47.5°N, 15.3°E
Paskapoo Formation Fossil 1 61.7 56.8 Paleogene Paleocene Tiffanian (Selandian to Thanetian) Alberta Canada 52.4°N, 113.8°W 58.7°N, 90.8°W
Peruvian Amber 1 15.0 12.0 Neogene Miocene Tamshiyacu Peru
Puryear, Tennessee Fossil 1 48.6 40.4 Paleogene Eocene Priabonian Puryear, Tennessee United States 36.4°N, 88.3°W
Quesnel, British Columbia Fossil 4 33.9 23.0 Neogene Miocene Quesnel, British Columbia Canada 53.0°N, 122.5°W
Radoboj Fossil 48 20.4 16.0 Neogene Miocene Burdigalian Radoboj Croatia 46.2°N, 15.9°E
Raritan (New Jersey) Amber 5 94.3 89.3 Cretaceous Late Cretaceous Turonian New Jersey United States 40.4°N, 74.3°W
Rott, Germany Fossil 5 23.8 24.2 Paleogene Oligocene Chattian Rott, Westphalia Germany 50.7°N, 7.3°E 50.6°N, 4.3°E
Rovno Amber 84 37.2 33.9 Paleogene Eocene Priabonian Baltic Sea region Europe 50.6°N, 26.3°E
Sakhalin Amber 8 47.8 41.3 Paleogene Paleocene Thanetian Ukraine 47.4°N, 142.8°E
Schossnitz, Poland Fossil 3 11.6 5.3 Neogene Miocene Schossnitz (= Sosnica?), Silesia Poland 51.0°N, 16.8°E
Shanwang, China Fossil 45 16.0 11.6 Neogene Miocene Shanwang China 36.6°N, 118.7°E
Sicilian Amber 14 11.6 5.3 Neogene Miocene Priabonian Italy 37.1° N, 14.8° E
Sumatran Amber 1 25.0 15.0 Neogene Miocene Sinamar (probably), Dharmasraya Regency, West Sumatra Indonesia 1.4°N, 99.6°E
Sweetwater, Wyoming Fossil 1 49.5 49.5 Paleogene Eocene Ypresian Sweetwater County, Wyoming United States 42.2° N, 109.4° W 46.1° N, 95.5° W
Varvara Formation Fossil 1 7.2 5.3 Neogene Miocene Messinian Apomarma, Messara Basin, Crete Greece 35.1°N, 24.9°E
Velikaya Kema Fossil 6 28.1 23.03 Paleogene Oligocene Chattian Velikaya Kema, Primorye Russia 45.5°N, 137.2°E 46.7°N, 134.7°E
Ventana Formation Fossil 2 48.6 40.4 Paleogene Eocene Lutetian Confluencia, Neuquen region Argentina 41.1°S, 70.8°W 43.6°S, 61.1°W
Vishnevaya Balka Creek Fossil 5 16.0 11.6 Neogene Miocene Priabonian Vishnevaya Balka Creek, Stavropol Russia 45.1°N, 42.3°E
Wellborn, Texas Fossil 1 37.2 33.9 Paleogene Eocene Mossy Creek, near Wellborn, Texas United States 30.5° N, 96.3° W
Willershausen, Germany Fossil 2 3.6 2.6 Neogene Pliocene Willershausen, Lower Saxony Germany 51.8°N, 10.1°E
Yantardakh Fossil 3 85.0 85.0 Cretaceous Late Cretaceous Santonian Yantardakh, Siberia Russia
Zhangpu Amber 1 15.97 13.82 Neogene Miocene Langhian Zhangpu County, Fujian Province China 24.2°N, 117.9°E 24.7°N, 116.6°E

References